DURST: A Bad Case of Flag Flu

Stand back everybody, I think I'm going to blow. Got myself a bad bad case of tertiary flag poisoning. Old Glory gout. The Star Spangled Ebola.

You see, I'm still suffering occasional flashbacks from watching the Super Bowl -- you'd be wise to give this sick boy some hurling room. Feel like a veal calf who's been fed too many Stars and Stripes through a funnel saluted down my throat. They're all leaking like color from gravy out of every orifice, and I'm twirling like a WWI Vet to catch them before they slide down and hit the ground and I'm burned for sedition.

I know, I know, I know, I should have known. After all, this 36th edition of freeze dried American extravagance was subtitled "A Celebration of America." But jeez pete, there is such a thing as overkill. Its right there in the dictionary between, "oh for christs sake" and "ow, my eye."

"The National Anthem" was sung three or four times, and "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful" at least twenty. On top of that, they passed out red white and blue lights and there were soldiers proposing and Barry Manilow trying to move rhythmically and The Declaration of Independence and ex-Presidents and then they replaced John Lennon with Terry Bradshaw and what the hell was up with that?

Then -- THEN -- the 14 point underdogs, a team with no more chance of beating the Saint Louis Rams than a banana slug has of surviving a three month scavenger hunt across the Utah Salt Flats kicks a last-second, 50-yard field goal to win the game. First of all, who in their right mind is going to swallow that? Everybody knows the Super Bowl is over by the time the first Britney Spears commercial is finished (I mean the long one, not the short ones they reprise out of it). Second of all, last second, my ass. It was so obviously a fix.

We all know why they won. Because both they and their cheerleaders wore bright shiny red white and blue uniforms. Because their name is THE PATRIOTS for crum's sake. Hello?! If you ask me, a little more surreptitiousness might have worked.

Thank God Mardi Gras is next Tuesday. The colors for that are purple, green and gold. At least the Big Easy can get back to normal. The rest of us will be watching the Olympics. "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"

Pass the Maalox somebody. I'm about to turn into Old Faithful.

Will Durst wishes he could get to New Orleans in time to get back to normal. Then again, any time is the right time.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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